Synopsis: La Niña has transitioned to ENSO-neutral conditions, which are expected to continue through northern summer 2012.
La Niña dissipated during April 2012, as below-average SSTs weakened across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and above-average SSTs persisted in the east (Fig. 1). The Niño 4 and Niño 3.4 indices were warmer than -0.5oC throughout the month, and the Niño 3 and Niño 1+2 indices remained positive (Fig. 2). The oceanic heat content (average temperature in the upper 300m of the ocean) anomalies also became positive in April (Fig. 3), as below-average sub-surface temperatures largely disappeared and above-average sub-surface temperatures expanded in both the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Consistent with the demise of La Niña, enhanced trade winds and reduced convection over the central equatorial Pacific were much weakened during April, and the area of enhanced convection that had previously dominated the western Pacific and Indonesia became disorganized (Fig. 5). Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric patterns indicate a transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral conditions. (more…)